Freestyle cooking

Sometimes it’s a drag to follow a recipe – it’s quite liberating instead to just to pull open the fridge and throw a few things together, without having to shop or plan ahead. This usually means making something I really want to eat, because I only put in what I like. It also has the added bonus of using up any languishing and/or leftover ingredients. I made very freestyle versions of arancini di riso and bubble and squeak.


I love risotto and always make a lot. However, not everyone (ahem, AW) shares this love, and so sometimes I’m left with rather too much leftovers. A certain someone does have a penchant for crumbed meals, and I thought this was a good opportunity for me to try my hand at making arancini. For a carbohydrate-phile like myself, what can be better than carb-coated carbs? But the main reason I have never made these fried risotto balls is that I think fried carb-coated carbs is just too stodgy, especially as risotto tends to be on the rich side to start with. Otherwise I’d be making my own doughnuts all the time! So a baked version of aranchini seemed a good compromise.

Armed with my leftover risotto*, I made patty shapes using a 1/2 cup measure. I added a teaspoon of pesto to the centre instead of the more typical meat or cheese filling. Each patty was then rolled in an equal mixture of fine semolina and flour, dipped in beaten egg, then coated in breadcrumbs**. The patties were then baked at 190°C for about 30 minutes. Making these was a lot of fun! And a certain someone who does not like risotto admitted that these were good, and worth making again in the future. Satisfaction! And no more leftovers! Well, except for the 4 extra arancini I made for my good friend LP 🙂

* Made without a recipe, with onion, celery, sun-dried tomatoes, chorizo, button mushrooms, and chicken stock.

** I made the breadcrumbs by processing leftover pizza crust with wholemeal toast, and added salt, pepper, paprika and dried herbs. Yes, using up double leftover ingredients!

Bubble and squeak

I couldn’t decide if what I made was more bubble and squeak or frittata. But it’s along the same lines of both, anyway. I pan fried leftover rosemary roast potatoes, spring onions, capsicum, button mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and pastrami, all diced. This was then mixed with 2 beaten eggs and baked in the oven along with the arancini.

Arancini, and bubble and squeak

I pan fried some bok choi to go on the side; shop-bought ranch sauce was rather good with the arancini. The photo is not much to look at, I admit, but the taste was good!

Update (26-01-2014)

Last time I made the arancini, I decided it was too much fuss to use the measuring cup. So, in keeping with the spirit of this post, I just guessed rough amounts and formed balls, but this time stuffing each ball with cheese cubes.

Risotto balls


Result? Cheesy deliciousness!

Risotto balls (halved)


2 thoughts on “Freestyle cooking

  1. Not only does this sound totally yum, I applaud your commitment to using up food and ingredients! Pizza crust even – ! Really awesome 🙂

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